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Asteroid 2024 FL3's Close Earth Flyby: NASA Tracks Apollo Asteroid Today

Today, Asteroid 2024 FL3 makes a close approach to Earth, inciting interest and study among scientists and space enthusiasts. NASA's CNEOS monitors its journey.

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Rizwan Shah
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Asteroid 2024 FL3's Close Earth Flyby: NASA Tracks Apollo Asteroid Today

Asteroid 2024 FL3's Close Earth Flyby: NASA Tracks Apollo Asteroid Today

NASA's vigilant eye in the sky has once more caught sight of a celestial traveler making its way close to our planet. Today, April 3, marks the close approach of Asteroid 2024 FL3, an Apollo-class asteroid, which will skim past Earth at a significant speed and distance, sparking interest and a bit of apprehension among space enthusiasts and the scientific community alike.

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Understanding Asteroid 2024 FL3

Asteroid 2024 FL3, measuring about 100 feet in width, is roughly the size of an aircraft and is traveling through space at an astonishing velocity of approximately 34,675 kilometers per hour. Its trajectory brings it within 3.2 million kilometers of Earth, a distance that, while comfortably safe by cosmic standards, is close enough to warrant attention from NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). The Apollo group of asteroids, to which FL3 belongs, are known for their Earth-crossing paths and have semi-major axes larger than that of Earth itself, making their monitoring crucial for planetary defense.

The Role of CNEOS in Planetary Defense

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The CNEOS, a critical component of NASA's planetary defense efforts, is tasked with the identification, tracking, and analysis of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) such as comets and asteroids. By calculating their sizes, orbits, and potential Earth impact probabilities, CNEOS plays a pivotal role in early warning and mitigation strategies for potential asteroid threats. The tracking of Asteroid 2024 FL3 underscores the ongoing vigilance required to keep our planet safe from celestial hazards.

A Growing Interest in Asteroids

In recent years, there has been a surge in interest in asteroids, not only for their potential threat to Earth but also for their scientific value and the possibilities they hold for space exploration and resource extraction. Events like the close pass of Asteroid 2024 FL3 highlight the importance of continued investment in space observation technologies and international cooperation in monitoring and potentially mitigating asteroid threats. Moreover, such encounters provide invaluable data for scientists studying the origins and composition of these fascinating space rocks.

As Asteroid 2024 FL3 zips by Earth, it serves as a reminder of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of our solar system. While there is no current threat from this particular asteroid, its close approach provides a valuable opportunity for observation and study, contributing to our understanding of these celestial neighbors. The ongoing work of agencies like NASA and CNEOS ensures that Earth remains vigilant and prepared for any future encounters with objects from the depths of space.

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